Adrenal Fatigue affects individuals who suffer from a long stretch of physical, mental, environmental, or emotional stress. Adrenal fatigue can affect anyone, but individuals who are more likely to suffer from Adrenal Fatigue include single parents, individuals who are drug dependent, those who have faced a life crisis, or those who have a stressful job circumstance. The term adrenal fatigue syndrome encompasses a broad spectrum of debilitating symptoms associated with chronic adaptation to stress. Nervousness, body aches, sleep disturbance, digestive problems, reduced memory, and feelings of tiredness and exhaustion are some of the common adrenal fatigue symptoms .
Does adrenal fatigue really exist?
Prolonged exposure to stress leads to degenerative and physiological changes that are brought up by the excessive stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system in our bodies. As of now, there is no specific medical condition that can diagnose this progression to health degeneration.
There are controversies over whether or not adrenal fatigue is an actual medical condition. Recent studies have shown that stress profoundly affects adrenal gland activities and its hormonal activities; further supporting the theory of adrenal fatigue . The truth is that the labelling of the condition is irrelevant when there are simple options available that can help with the collection of symptoms and the condition. Regardless of the label, there are many people who are suffering from similar symptoms, and a personalized plan that includes counselling, medications, supplements, and lifestyle changes can help.
Then what is the real theory behind Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is an actual problem that occurs when we face too much stress in our lives. Adrenal glands are two small organs that are located above our kidneys; they deal with stress through the release of hormones like cortisol . When people face long term stress, adrenal glands cannot produce an appropriate amount of stress-related hormones required by our body. Symptoms of “adrenal fatigue” occur because of such conditions [4,5]. Physiological Progression of Adrenal Fatigue consists of three phases: the alarm, the resistance and the exhaustion phases .
During the Alarm Phase also known as the fight-or-flight response, the body responds to the release of stress chemicals by increasing blood pressure, heart rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles. Increased cortisol hormone, then causes a reduction in dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) production. The high cortisol to DHEA ratio may cause high blood sugar, infections, bone demineralization, water and salt retention, muscle loss, and an inability to lose weight .
During the resistance phase, the action of cortisol is most prevalent. When secreted in small amounts cortisol acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory helping with tissue repair, but in large amounts, it further suppresses the immune system. The risk of disease increases as the excessive cortisol over stimulates cells.
Diminished amounts of cortisol and aldosterone during this phase cause a decrease in gluconeogenesis, rapid blood sugar fall, and sodium loss and potassium retention .
Adrenal Fatigue versus Adrenal Insufficiency:
It is important to note that Adrenal Fatigue is different from Adrenal Insufficiency. Adrenal insufficiency is a medical condition that occurs when our adrenal glands do not produce sufficient amounts of hormones that are required by our body. In fact, Adrenal Insufficiency occurs due to damage in the adrenal or the pituitary glands  . The pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland present in the brain and its primary function is to instruct the adrenal glands to produce cortisol hormone . A person who has adrenal insufficiency can be confused, dehydrated, and can face weight loss. They can feel tired, weak, have blood-pressure problems, and feel dizzy. Other symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting. Adrenal fatigue is a different condition in which high-stress levels affect the optimal functioning of the adrenal glands.
Symptoms and Signs of Adrenal Fatigue   :
The most common symptoms and signs of adrenal fatigue are the following:
- Decreased energy and stamina- feeling exhausted and run down most of the day
- Reduced resilience
- Decreased productivity
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Lack of a refreshed feeling even after 8 hours of sleep
- Mild depression
- Concentration problems
- Craving sugar and salt
- Digestive problems
- Trouble in waking up and getting sleep
- Lightheadedness when standing up quickly.
- Inability to really wake until after 10 a.m., afternoon low between 3 and 4 p.m. and then feeling better after 6 p.m.
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Increased effort to do everyday tasks
Natural Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue:
let’s explore how to treat adrenal fatigue naturally:
Lifestyle Modification  :
There are some important modifications that you can bring into your lifestyle for treating or reducing the effects of adrenal fatigue: Let’s have a look at them to learn how to treat adrenal fatigue?
- Look out for ways to reduce your emotional, mental and physical stress load
- Reduce commitments
- Spend at least 2 hours of free time daily
- Create a chart! Make Two columns; In one column list the tasks or situations that make you feel good and in the next column list habits, situations, people or tasks that are making you feel down or stressed out. After prioritizing the items, start doing more of the things that make you feel good and try to daily eliminate things that are making you feel low or stressed out. After a few weeks, you will feel a good change in yourself.
- Have a regular sleep schedule
- Avoid people who drain your energy.
- Exercise in a moderate way daily
Adrenal fatigue diet:
- Foods to avoid:
It is recommended to limit the use of drinks and foods which are high in sugar .
Here are some foods which you should avoid:
- White flour
- White sugar
- Processed food
- Fried foods
- Artificial sweeteners
- Fast foods
Eating a meal on time is also essential to regulate your blood sugar and for the proper functioning of your adrenal glands.
- Foods to eat:
Try foods that have healthy fats, a balanced amount of protein, and nutrient-dense carbohydrates. Also, increase the amount of vegetable intake in your food. Vitamins B, C, and magnesium are also good for the optimal functionality of the adrenal glands. vitamin C, in particular, is essential for the production of adrenal steroid hormones and is used in the adrenal cascade. Vitamin C is considered to be the most important vitamin in adrenal recovery.
Here is a list of foods you should include in your diet to treat adrenal fatigue :
- Colorful vegetables
- Leafy greens
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Coconut oil
- Low sugar fruits
Here is a brief detail of some of the best supplements that would help you with the collection of the symptoms.
- Maca root
Maca root is an adaptogenic herb; meaning that it helps our body in stress. It is full of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Maca is full of phytonutrients and antioxidants and plant-based proteins. It helps to relieve depression and anxiety to support mood balance and energy . These herbs are the best for adrenal fatigue treatment.
- Licorice root
Licorice root is very beneficial for those people who do not produce an adequate amount of cortisol. There are many studies conducted that proved that licorice root can increase the energy level and can regulate the cortisol level in adrenal glands  .
- Siberian ginseng
Siberian ginseng is the herb that supports adrenal glands and increases body stamina. It deals with memory issues, chronic fatigue, irregularities in blood sugar level, and lowered immunity. It is the best natural treatment for adrenal fatigue .
- Golden root
Golden root is also known as Rhodiola Rosea. If you are suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, then this root can help you to reduce your stress .
If you feel symptoms such as weakness, feelings of tiredness, or exhaustion then you should visit your naturopathic doctor for your full diagnosis. You may also have anemia, sleep apnea, depression, fibromyalgia, or other health-related problems.
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